What is Clinical Neuropsychology?
Clinical Neuropsychology is a specialty within the field of psychology that specializes in evaluating, diagnosing, and creating treatment plans for brain-based conditions and diseases that affect thinking, behavior, and emotions. Neuropsychology specializes in understanding the relationships between the human brain and behavior, emotions, and cognitive functioning.
Who is a Clinical Neuropsychologist?
A Clinical Neuropsychologist is a highly trained professional who has earned a doctoral degree (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology or related-field and has received additional, extensive training in the neurosciences. Current professional guidelines recommend that Clinical Neuropsychologists also complete an internship with experiences in Neuropsychology and a two-year post-doctoral residency providing specialty training in Neuropsychology.
Why might I want a Neuropsychological evaluation?
A Neuropsychological evaluation can provide information that may help people improve their functioning at work, school, and home. An evaluation can provide individuals with insight about their own strengths and weaknesses and advice for how to improve performance at home, work, school, and in relationships. A Neuropsychological evaluation can provide parents, caregivers, educators, and physicians with insight about an individual’s cognitive and emotional functioning which can be used to create a treatment plan tailored to an individual’s strengths and weaknesses.
The results from a neuropsychological evaluation may help with:
- diagnosing a complex condition
- monitoring the progression of a condition (e.g., dementia) over time
- tracking cognitive improvement or recovery over time (e.g., brain injury, pre- and post-surgical evaluations)
- development of school-based educational and behavioral planning (IEP, 504 plans)
- determining decision-making competency (i.e. for medical treatment), capacity for independent living, or safety planning